Awesome indie Apple Watch apps to look forward to

The hottest Watch apps and games from indie developers
Awesome indie Apple Watch apps

Independent developers are clamouring to get their Apple Watch apps on our wrists alongside app extensions from Instagram, Citymapper and Twitter.

With comments from the devs themselves, here's Wareable's guide to some of best indie Apple Watch apps you can download as well as a few that we know are coming soon.

Essential reading: Apple Watch tips and tricks

If you've spotted any gems, let us know in the comments below.

Places Around

The Places Around app is designed to enable you to easily find local places and services, such as restaurants, cash machines, petrol stations and parking. "You can select a pre-defined service or just speak to the app to find what you need," said creator Shrae Attanayake.

The real-time distance to the places is provided as well as as opening hours and contact details. Places can also be viewed on a map with directions from Apple Maps.

£1.49, iTunes

TL;DR Email

This app is an email client optimised for speed and brevity. "We believe 'brief is the new polite' and that emails should be clear and to the point," explains founder Ami Ben-David. Emails are therefore presented in a feed, as 'cards', so you can grasp them instantly, see conversations, access extracted links, and reply to — and even 'like' — the messages.

The app is heavily optimised for Apple Watch, with notifications based on the content within, estimated read times for messages, and an option to open the current message on your iPhone.

Free, iTunes

Todoist


Todoist for Apple Watch is coming soon according to founder Amir Salihefendic's blog post on Watch launch day. He writes: "Our team of iOS developers and designers has taken great care to properly adapt the Todoist experience to Apple's new device, especially considering the unique space constraints that come with the wearable territory. We truly look forward to sharing Todoist for Apple Watch with you once it's ready."

According to developer Enric Enrich, this to-do manager takes advantage of the various Apple Watch views: "Glances provide a quick view of tasks. Tap one and you open the main app, to access your inbox, projects and 'today' view."

Tapping a task provides further details, along with enabling you to postpone or complete the task directly from your watch. "You'll also be able to interact with all the notifications you receive on your iPhone directly from Apple Watch: reply to a comment, join a shared project, and so on," Enrich continued.

The overriding aim is for the app to "fit seamlessly into your workflow and day-to-day life, so you can interact with your to-do list in an unprecedented way," he adds. "You'll always be in sync with your task list, no matter where you are."

Free, iTunes

*coming soon

Launch Center Pro

On iPhone and iPad, Launch Center Pro is a kind of speed-dial for everyday tasks, saving you time by performing complex actions with a single tap. "And now we're really excited about bringing it to Apple Watch," said Contrast founder David Barnard. "Via our IFTTT channel and custom input methods, users will be able to create all sorts of powerful workflows to quickly execute actions right from their wrist." He admits the initial version might be "a bit conservative", but his team "can't wait to spend time with Apple Watch and find meaningful ways to grow the app over time".

Like Todoist, the app hasn't been updated to work with the Apple Watch yet but it's only a matter of time.

£3.99, iTunes

*coming soon

MileWiz

The idea behind this automatic mileage tracker is to save you money every time you use your car and the Apple Watch extension is now live. "It automatically tracks your journeys, so you can claim against business-related travel. Driving 30 miles per day can save you thousands per year," said SilverWiz CEO Iliya Yordanov.

"The Apple Watch version will notify you when a new drive has been detected and allow you to quickly categorise it. It also shows the current drive status and enables you to temporary disable the automatic tracking, if needed."

Free, iTunes

MoneyWiz 2 - Personal Finance

Another SilverWiz creation, MoneyWiz 2 is designed to simplify your financial life by putting everything in one place: accounts, budgets and bills. The Watch update isn't on the App Store yet but it's on its way.

"The Apple Watch app allows you to quickly enter expenses and incomes on the go," said CEO Yordanov. "You start by entering the amount, then select a category, and can optionally choose a payee. The transaction is then posted into the main MoneyWiz for iOS app. The Apple Watch app also includes several themes, in order to match your Apple Watch's colour."

MoneyWiz, iTunes

*coming soon

Notation

On the iPhone, Notation is designed to convert audio input into a music score and guitar tab.

Creator Jamie Maison is hoping to bring similar functionality to your wrist: "The idea is you can sing — or play any instrument — and your Apple Watch will show what note is being played." He thinks this could be especially useful for singers starting to learn, since they'll easily be able to tell if they're in tune.

$1.99, iTunes

Spy_Watch

A slice of background gaming from Bossa Studios - the makers of Surgeon Simulator and I Am Bread - Spy_Watch sends you alerts from a fictional agent who you are handling.

Read this: The spy who nudged me - how Bossa Studios made Spy_Watch

Complete Bond-style missions over the course of the day with interactive decisions popping up every 20 minutes or so on the Watch. Designed from the ground up for a spy watch experience, Spy_Watch adds a bit of mischief and murder to your smartwatch notifications and Glances.

$1.99, iTunes

Baby Monitor 3G


According to developer Tappy Taps, this cross-platform baby monitor is currently used by nearly one million parents. The Apple Watch component alerts you when your baby wakes and provides an overview of the most recent noise; there are even live pictures of your child.

"At the moment, the system requires two devices — iOS, Android or Mac — and Apple Watch can't replace one of them, but it nonetheless gives you the most important information about what's happening in your child's room," explains Jakub Šnorbert of Tappy Taps.

"It beats traditional baby monitors, in that you always get peace of mind — even if you're in your garden, chatting with friends, you'll receive an Apple Watch alert if your little one needs you."

£2.99, iTunes

CRNT

Designer and lifelong surfer Raleigh Felton was after an easier way to view surf conditions at his favourite breaks, and so he created CRNT as a side project at Smashing Boxes. The simple, sleek user interface is designed to quickly and efficiently communicate data on swell, wind, tide, and temperature.

"The goal is to do one thing and do it well — use current surf conditions to find the best waves on the beach," explains Felton. "With a minimalist design, the Apple Watch is an ideal platform for CRNT, enabling you to check conditions at a glance."

CRNT preview, crntapp.com

*coming soon

Exact Fitness Timer

With several fitness apps already on the App Store, Exact Fitness is busy exploring how Apple Watch can bolster training. With Exact Fitness Timer, you'll be able to track timers for interval training from your wrist. "I see lots of potential in companion apps like this," says developer Armen Papshev, "although there are many technical unknowns at this stage, and so we're experimenting with various approaches to see how the app would best work."

Exact Fitness Timer, iTunes

*coming soon

Feed Wrangler

Developer David Smith has been hard at work bringing RSS to Apple Watch via Feed Wrangler and it's here with latest headlines accessed with the Glance view.

"The goal is to provide a quick mechanism to check the current news," he says. The functionality is there to read full articles, but David imagines relatively few will do so; instead, Apple Watch appears perfectly designed for quickly browsing headlines and unread articles. "You can skim through these, mark items as read, or send them to a read-later service. The app also puts the current article in your handoff queue, so you can continue reading it on your iPhone, iPad or Mac."

Free, iTunes

Fitness Spades


Another in-development app from Armen Papshev, Fitness Spades is a game that challenges the user to perform exercises based on drawn cards. "I'm hedging my bets by developing two apps for Apple Watch," admits Armen. But he notes Fitness Spades is "much simpler to implement" than timer apps, and the nature of the information and interface makes it well-suited to Apple Watch.

Free, iTunes

Home Remote

Developer Gary Riches has experience with smartwatches, and has long used a Pebble with his Home Remote app. For the Apple Watch it works with internet connected devices including Philips Hue smart bulbs.

"The experience of using the app to unlock doors, turn on and off lights, and even put the kettle on is great," he enthuses, "and so being able to offer that functionality with a better display, touch input and eventually voice control has made me incredibly excited."

He adds that many first-party apps for controlling home-automation hardware are "appalling", hence Home Remote being designed to — across all devices — "provide quick, easy, convenient access to the everyday commands you need."

£1.49, iTunes

Infinitweet

This app converts long messages to images, thereby getting around Twitter's 140-character limit. "The Apple Watch version will do the same, except it will rely on voice input for your message," says creator Ruben Martinez. "I see this coming in handy when tweeting on the go, and when you don't have time to condense what you have to say to just 140 characters."

£0.79, iTunes

OfficeTime

OfficeTime founder Stephen Dodd is excited about bringing his product to Apple Watch: "I want to be able to walk into a meeting, tap a button on my wrist, walk out, and tap it again. At the end of each week, I then want a breakdown of where all my time went."

He thinks OfficeTime on Apple Watch will make tracking time in this manner easier and far more immediate: "The challenge is remembering to do it, and so having the ability on your wrist and reports on your iPhone will take one piece of inertia away!"

OfficeTime,iTunes

*coming soon

Peeps

Peeps co-founder Alexander Edge reckons Apple Watch can prove handy for apps where there's no obvious use case. His app is for video-only group messaging, but the Apple Watch portion merely displays the first frame when you receive a video message from a friend.

"Some will enjoy that, but there will also be 'static notifications' for those who don't want images," says Alexander. "Real value would come from a front-facing camera," he adds, hoping for Apple Watch 2 to propel us into a sci-fi future.

Peeps, iTunes

*coming soon

Prompt

Currently in development, Prompt is designed for people who need to run a presentation. "You set out sections and durations in the iOS app, and then start the presentation on your Apple Watch. It lets you know what you should be talking about, along with the time left for that section," explains Gary Riches. The app was inspired by Gary himself sometimes losing his position in presentations, and his fierce dislike of presenters who have no concept of time. "Prompt should therefore help people deliver presentations as planned."

*coming soon

Slopes

Curtis Herbert's Slopes app is designed for skiers and snowboarders who use an iPhone's GPS to record stats and form: "Think Nike+ or RunKeeper, but for winter sports, and with unique takes on visualising data, such as 3D replays right on your phone."

The Glance view shows time spent on lifts versus shredding downhill and the app shows your top speed, vertical and distance for the day.

The goal of the companion app is to make it easier to check in on stats while on the mountain: "Gloves get in the way of TouchID, and iPhones are usually buried deep in warm pockets. So an Apple Watch app is perfect for getting details at a glance, and you can start recording without ever taking out your iPhone."

£5.99, iTunes

1 Comment

  • JimB says:

    Some interesting apps. Although I think a keyboard on the watch is too small to used as a calculator. 

    BioMate for Biorhythms on Apple Watch (http://comcul.com/biomate) also has a keyboard to enter birthdays, but that's only a one time deal that can also be done on the iPhone. 

    I'm looking forward to see how indies use the watch to deal with 3rd party devices related to IoT. 

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